Modofac | Wind Will Fill the Sails

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Wind Will Fill the Sails

by Modofac

Power pop; indie rock
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. No One Can Touch Me
4:10 $0.99
2. Tethered by Today
3:10 $0.99
3. It’s Time for a Skunk
2:45 $0.99
4. Kosovo Disco
3:34 $0.99
5. I Think I Got You Sold
3:00 $0.99
6. Back of the Room
4:15 $0.99
7. Rim Clicks and Cowbells
3:33 $0.99
8. He Held the Parchment High
3:36 $0.99
9. Wind Has Filled the Sails
2:41 $0.99
10. King of Can’t Do
2:54 $0.99
11. Expectations
3:12 $0.99
12. Did You Have a Dream?
3:11 $0.99
13. Albanian Fire for the Colors
6:19 $0.99
14. I’m Done!
3:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
What does it sound like when a law professor takes up songwriting at age 60 and partners with a group of twenty-something experienced rock and jazz musicians? Hank Perritt’s first album, Wind Will Fill the Sails, provides the answer:

A new genre, “Law Rock.”

Law Rock comprises a broad range of music styles, anchored by the diverse experiences of a song writer who has taught several thousand law students, analyzed insurgency and nationbuilding, flown airplanes and sailed boats, worked for four Presidents of the United States, run for the United States Congress, and written fifteen books.

The unusual breadth of Hank’s experience permits him to explore a much wider range of subject matter than is accessible to younger singer-songwriters. The album has 14 songs, tied together by Hank’s evocative, concrete lyrics, and distinguished by styles ranging from traditional pop-rock to technopop and jazz. They sing of the struggles that ambitious and sensitive young people face when they seek signals about their merit, feedback about their aspirations, and encouragement to pursue their dreams from peers and professors. They sing of euphoria about completing rights of passage and about student teams who work to build peace in remote parts of the world. They sing of self-reliance and of the sadness flowing from those who give up and destroy themselves. They sing of the interaction of musicians separated by nearly two generations. One sings in the native language of a small group of guerrilla insurgents who fought for freedom.

Tim Sandusky’s smooth, young voice on eight of the songs complements Hank’s much rougher voice on six. The strong rock beats of Tethered by Today contrast with the sweet modern waltz flow of It's Time for a Skunk, the technopop style of Kosovo Disco, and the richness of Rim Clicks and Cow Bells, in which a modern rock band periodically morphs into a dance band of the 1940s. Only here will one find a mellow jazz beat on a record together with a martial ballad sung in the Albanian language. Pretty melodies predominate.

The songs were produced, performed, recorded and mixed in Tim Sandusky’ Studio Ballistico, featuring Jamie Gallagher on a rock-band drumset, Hank and Tim on the clarinet and keyboard, Tim on the saxophone, acoustic and electric guitar and bass, Darren Garvey on a variety of melodic and non-melodic percussion instruments, Matt Topic on the trumpet, Ben Shanbaum on the trombone, Sarah Holtschlag on the musical saw, Aaron Allietta on the keyboard, and Lola Parker Mann on the violin/fiddle.

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Ed Harris

Introspective, eclectic, lyrically sophisticated, sometimes catchy and playful; words and phrases that aptly describe Modofac’s first effort Wind Will Fill the Sails. The band and its songs are in large part the brainchild of law professor Hank Perritt who, at 60-something and looking back on a very distinguished career as an engineer, lawyer, advisor to several US presidents, law professor and international legal scholar, dean of a law school and candidate for Congress (whew!), decided that music would be his next conquest. Hank and his Modofac crew in this freshman effort seemed to have mirrored the same broad strokes of subject matter reflected in Hank’s career path by pulling together such disparate lyrical topics from the legality of owning a skunk (“It’s Time for a Skunk”) to nation building (“Kosovo Disco” and “Albanian Fire for the Colors”) to the senselessness of suicide (“He Held the Parchment High”) and keeping one’s eye on the prize (“Did You Have a Dream?”). And the lyrics are often quite sophisticated both stylistically and in terms of the stories and feelings conveyed. The listener can really feel, for example, the law professor’s empathy for and his reaching out to the downhearted law student in “Back of the Room” and the jubilation of completing the last final exam of a law school education in “I’m Done.” However, the real stand-out tune on the record for this listener is “Did You Have a Dream?” Though I could speculate that the lyrics are about staying focused on the realization of a dream in the music business or in the law, the words sweep more broadly and seem really to be about not losing sight of any life-dream in the tangled mess that often accompanies the process of attaining the dream. Musically, the song uses an interesting lyrical melody atop the main chord progressions of a guitar and what sounds like a dulcimer. A mid-song break with alternating dissonant electric guitar chords and cymbal/tom crashes seems to symbolize the loss of the dream through the process of its pursuit. But, the listener’s attention is again grabbed by the finish of the break where Hank’s voice, in full three part harmony, admonishes the song’s subject to “listen to [him] now” and attempts to bring focus back to the dream. The song is enhanced by a wonderful musical saw melody beautifully played by Sarah Holtschlag which gives the song a decidedly “Tom Waitsy” feel. Other bits of musical accent abound in this well-put-together piece to make it this listener’s favorite.

If I am to mention one downside of the record, it is that the musical styles are a bit too eclectic. From the pop-punky sound of “Tethered by Today” to the jazzy Sinatra-esque sound of “Expectations,” the broad range of styles might leave some wondering whether there is a distinctive Modofac style. However, finding a distinctive voice is a process that all bands go through and is indeed something we listener’s often enjoy watching through the course of our fandom. Also, Hank’s broad range of life experience and accomplishments might be too constrained were Modofac to restrict itself to a single style. And, in the end, many of the common themes throughout the record – themes in subject matter and in vocal and playing styles – begin to sound “Modofac” after a few listens. Thus, perhaps we should watch and enjoy seeing just how Hank and Modofac further find and refine their own voice.

On the whole, Hank Perritt certainly has done something here that younger musicians who are far more concerned with their success often struggle to do: tap into one’s own knowledge, experience and feelings and bring the listener to know, experience and feel through the musician’s senses. No small feat, but Hank’s success at this may be because of his vast experience along the many paths he has walked.

Phillip J. Bergmann

Before listening to this debut album, it is important to make light of a few facts about the genius behind this endeavor: Hank Perritt is an aeronautical AND astronautical engineer, a law professor, author, master of business and a world-renowned speaker...WHO TAUGHT HIMSELF MUSIC THEORY! Let's make sure this is clear: Hank taught himself advanced music theory, seeking advice and insight from colleagues and books! Now, I urge you to think about that while listening to a few key tracks, about which I'd like to make a few brief notes:

2) a classic rock, up-tempo number, evocative of a time in rock music in which one could hear ACTUAL MUSIC and tonality. Pay close attention to the harmonies and lyrics!

4) Kosovo Disco...has an AWESOME BEAT with killer lyrics. Notice the use of mixed meter within the lyrics, on what is a seemingly basic beat. As with many of Hank's songs, the lyrical rhythm gives way to a quasi-hemiola.

5) I full of poignant lyrics! I love the various hints at modulations throughout the piece, although they're almost always deceptive!

7) Rim toe-tapping, up-beat, while being thoughtful, introspective, nostalgic...AND HUMOROUS! This is a terrific track!

8) He Held...sounds incredibly harmonically/theoretically challenging, however it's progression is very simple! This track is amazingly thought provoking and mysterious. Listen for the use of deceptive cadences that don't go "perfect" until the very end!

9) Wind Has no doubt an adventure, the music from which makes the listener really feel a part of the journey, like we're traveling together!

11) the song that says: "Just when you think Hank's music isn't tonal enough, his melodic lines really take you by surprise!" This number will definitely leave you humming and toe-tapping...

13) Albanian Fire...IMAGINE: Being at the Opera with NO SUBTITLES! If the heart-felt music in this un-translated number doesn't convey messages of loss/death, hard times, and progression towards pride, hope and nationalism THEN YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!

14) I'm incredibly playful, joyous and tons of fun!

The studio artists and various collaborators are undoubtedly talented performers...they deserve credit for breathing life and creativity into Hank's somewhat calculated, rigid musicianship!

I have been blessed with Hank in my life - truly blessed - and am honored to say that I have assisted "Filling His Sails With Wind" since the very young age of two! That said, it is now time to place the spotlight on this brilliant lawyer/engineer turned musician & songwriter!

Ryan Warden

Wind Will Fill the Sails
As astutely noted in the preceding reviews, the album is good and needs no qualification, however, when one considers the fact that Hank Perritt only began taking music seriously about two years ago, the product is that much more impressive. Without reiterating that which has been fully acknowledged below, Hank Perritt truly is a great man. He is a brilliant lawyer and professor and one of the most prolific legal authors of his time. That he would even consider lending his enormous talent to the music field at his age is quite refreshing -- that he actually went out and did something about it is exceptional, and says a lot about what type of man Hank Perritt is. "Wind Will Fill the Sails" is a fine debut effort. The title track has the feel of Sergeant Pepper and captures the excitement felt by the songwriter when engaging in one of his favorite pastimes - sailing. Several of the songs on the album are dedicated to law school life. These songs can be appreciated by any listener. For the lawyer, the songs really hit home, and it is wonderful to get a glimpse inside the mind and heart of this brilliant man and see just how caring he truly is. For the non-lawyer, these songs provide a taste of the constant pressures an aspiring lawyer faces in the struggle to be among the best and the brightest. "Kosovo Disco" is another song worthy of mention. In addition to his myriad accomplishments as a lawyer, engineer, professor, author, mentor, and now singer-songwriter, Hank Perritt is a fine humanitarian who has made several trips to Kosovo, in an attempt to do his part to rebuild that war-torn nation and to help fellow human beings. "Kosovo Disco" recounts Hank's most recent journey to Kosovo. Hank expresses a community's collective sadness over a young man's suicide in "He Held the Parchment High." The song is so touching that it must have actually happened, although I am not familiar with the real-life story to which the song pertains. Hank does not have a traditionally beautiful voice. But do not let that turn you off. Some of our finest songwriters had voices that some found to be less than pristine at first. Bob Dylan comes to mind. It is not perfect pitch or rich tone that makes us FEEL, but rather, the way in which the singer-songwriter turns a phrase. Hank Perritt has that. I am sure you will enjoy the album